I am still learning how not to expend myself.
The last few days have been stressful --domestic problems. Family. Drama. Home renovations, on top of all my editing, critiquing and anxiety issues.
I am trying to sleep, listening to my body, wrestling with my desire to over-indulge in caffeine. But when the body says rest, there's nothing else to do.
These days I desire only to sleep, dream and sleep no more. Best summarized in these Shakespeare words, “To die, to sleep—No more—and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to—'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep. ... To sleep, perchance to dream”.-Hamlet
I think too much ... about everything
... will I die alone?
... is the end of the world near?
... when does middle age start?
... am I an impostor?
... will I ever get a traditional publishing deal?
.... am I a real or good writer?
... do I have a good personality?
... am I intelligent?
... do people like me?
... why don't I do something good with my life?
Sometimes my doubts creep up. I want to brush dirt off my shoulders but it's hard.
Staying positive? I cling to little things.
The last couple days I'd been on high thinking I got this ... and I didn't have this (received some great feedback about a short story and was convinced it would be accepted). Received the rejection this morning. I stop investing in things. No longer hold my breath and keep my fingers crossed. I was once accused of not being "passionate." My response (which of course I kept in my head): I am so used to be disappointed I didn't want to run my anxiety up only to be deflated). Of course, I no longer know how to be happy when I receive good news.
Sometimes, I wonder about me ... and where all this is going ...
The rejection says "I kept the reader at bay when it comes to the character's reaction". The story of my life. I am terrible at expressing feelings ... just terrible. I empathize and think, think, ponder, cogitate, worry ... but I just don't express OUTWARDLY.
My characters are criticized for lacking agency, motivation, expressing themselves or simply being plain flat. I love big concepts but don't think I express them clearly.
Been reading about "sociological" writing versus psychological. Supposedly, Game of Thrones lost the plot in season 8 when it abandoned the former for the latter. Ideally, a writer needs both to be good at STORYTELLING.
I try to do both, but ultimately I prefer plot and structure over either but don't do it well.
I wonder if I could ever write an intelligent piece of fiction ... NK Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy, for example.
Do I have the psychological grasp of the sociological structures that impress upon people to churn out such in-depth storytelling?
I often accuse myself of "tired/lazy" writing ... when I write despite being too tired to care/focus.
Writing criticisms I frequently receive: complicated plots, staccato sentences, wordiness, "elevated" writing style .... which I blame on my general love affair with Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare ... I was a pretentious child, who rather liked saying "I shall" versus, " I will."
Sometimes I wonder why I attend writing groups...
Recently listened to a man rant about his older co-worker whom he believes is just showing up to work because he likes the companionship of his co-workers and having something to do, socially.
. I considered quitting writing groups after my mom died last November. And sometimes, especially after a rejection, I think I should give up writing ....
But I have nothing else.
I am not a cross-stitch, crochet-knitting, sell stuff on e-Bay and Etsy type. I can't learn pottery, and I have yet to show up to my soap-making and kickboxing classes (I am still making promises about better weather and stable finances. My older brother says to just do it).
And what will I do with myself?
Watched sick-flick film with Maisie Williams (Arya Stark): she has another "bucket" list in it.
I don't even think I am the "live like you are dying" type. I'd just mope and sink into my shell, convinced the universe really hates me.
Speaking of the universe ...
Some times I wonder ...
Been listening to a lot of physics podcasts lately ... my dream profession had been Astrophysicist. I got intimidated by high school Enriched Physics and dropped out ... fearing I would fail, anyway.
I regret it ... and not pursuing math beyond the 12th grade.
File on my list of life regrets
Master's or PhD
Better relationship with my mom
Life feels like it's running away .... I want a time-loop do-over until I get it right.
Life's okay ... some times.
But sometimes ...
This is an overdue post in my How to be a Woman adventures!
Three weeks ago I finally decided be confrotnational. It was the toughest thing I ever did. I chickened out a couple times, and then finally, on the weekend, I wrote the email.
I did not know what to expect--an explosive argument or a concession and apology.
For years I have been saddled by misplaced, lapsed anger about what I should’ve/could’ve done during past episodes when I felt disrespected/condescended to/bullied. I always walk away, priding myself on my non-violent/argumentative stance. I convinced myself I was taking the high road—when they go low, I go high. Ultimately, this was a lie I told myself, a lie to hide my insecurities, fears, anxieties and cowardice, even. I backed down because I was afraid to stand up for myself. It allowed others to get away with believing they could do and say whatever to me they liked, because I would back down.
This led to years of “chip on shoulder” emotions boiling over. In my head were a slew of "trigger" words: so? No! Go! (spoken condescendingly or angrily). I couldn't escape the ruminations, nor obsessing over every slight. When it got bad, I seriously considered contacting those who’d wronged me in the past to confront them, be it social media or in-person. Ultimately, these solutions felt weird. The past was gone. Here was now. So, I focused on something else –the next time, I’d speak up.
Despite vowing to speak out when I am wronged, I didn't. I still found myself letting incidents slide, partly burdened by my own lack of confidence in my own judgment --did that person mean to speak down to me, I would ask myself. What if I was making a big deal out of nothing? What if I misinterpreted.? At the end of the day, I realized I was stalling and making excuses.
I knew I had to express my feelings. But, how to express myself with words when I wasn't big on talking? I resorted to my strong point--writing. I wrote my thoughts down, went over the words, made sure they said what I wanted to say, tone and everything, conveyed. I did this with the co-worker, and then I hit sent.
The worst of it was over. Once the inevitable happened --my coworker read it and responded, I received an apology. Of course, this went over better than most real life scenarios, and I partly banked on my coworker's personality and professionalism for a smooth resolution. I know in real life standing up to someone, particularly a stranger, or a bully with a bad personality, won’t be so easy. Nonetheless, it’s a breakthrough, the fulfillment of a promise I made to myself too many times to count. Stand up for yourself. Speak up. Keeping it all inside won’t help. Trust me.